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Monocotyledons - Plants Slideshow

Monocotyledon species of flowering plants

We'll start with the monocot species of angiosperms. These species are found in the class Liliopsida. Even though we're only showing species with large flowers, there is a wide variety in this class. There are about 60,000 species to choose from and you will find grasses, lilies, orchids, and most grains. The grain species are probably the most important to man. Much of our food comes from the monocot species of corn, rice, and wheat.

Structurally, you can identify monocot species by their seeds, flowers, and leaves. The flowers come with petals in sets of three and the seeds only have one cotyledon (monocot). Compare a piece of corn (monocotyledon) to a lima bean (dicotyledon). The leaves of dicots are usually complex while monocots have simple leaves with parallel vein patterns. Think about the leaves of grasses. They are long and straight. The leaf of a rose plant has a very complex shape with veins going in every direction.

As with all classification, you should remember that these rules always have some grey areas. Some dicots look and behave like monocots. The opposite is also true.

Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios

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